Follow
Share
Find Care & Housing
Tinkering may not stimulate the brain, but neither does bingo. It is good that she still socializes. She used to color when she was in her room alone. Do you have any idea why she has stopped this? That can't have anything to do with the one lady she dislikes, can it, or about what her friend does?

Dose she seem content? Agitated? Depressed? Sad? If she is in good spirits, I'm not sure increasing her activity level is necessary/appropriate. If she is sad or frightened or having other issues try to think about how to solve those issues and she may want to increase activities on her own.

Dementia progresses. It gets worse. You can't count on her being the same as she was 6 months ago, and she'll be different 6 months from now. I think the most important thing is if she seems comfortable and content.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

See sees several doctors on a regular basis. Her vitals are good. We know the reason for why she stopped the bus trips. She doesn't care for one of the ladies who goes to everything. According to her, the daily activities at her facilty are boring and she hates bingo. She attached herself to one lady and it's all about her. Her friend doesn't do the activities so maybe this could be the reason. It's a shame. I know the staff will try to get her involved but they can't force her. She sits in her room and tinkers. Tinkering doesn't stimulates the brain.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Tryingourbest
Report

Well it’s good that she still wants to have lunch with the ladies.
I think I would just check her blood work, her vitals and her weight. Does she take an antidepressant or seemed depressed? Did she recently become incontinent? Have you checked her feet, toenails? Does she seem to wince or show signs of pain when you check her over? Any medication changes? Constipation? Did she have a problem with any of the others during an activity?
Perhaps a round of PT would get her going again. Would her doctor order it for her?
She sounds very sweet. Since she used to be very active I would be a little concerned too. 
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

The problem with Mom is that she did all of the activities, crafts, religious services and bus trips when she first moved in. She also colored (color pencil/adult coloring books) in her room and very much enjoyed this hobby. She was actually very talented with her choice of colors. She stopped doing all of this.. She does however enjoy her meal time to mingle with the residents. That's her social time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Tryingourbest
Report

The problem with Mom is that she did all of the activities, crafts, religious services and bus trips when she first moved in. She also colored (color pencil/adult coloring books) in her room and very much enjoyed this hobby. She was actually very talented with her choice of colors. She stopped doing all of this.. She does however enjoy her meal time to mingle with the residents. That's her social time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Tryingourbest
Report

Hearing issues can also be a deterrent to interaction with others. And sometimes the activities aren't that useful. When my mother was in rehab, I remember wondering to myself: How many beaded necklaces can someone make or even use when they're living in a facility? Are they going to wear these at home?

Activities can also require dexterity, which sometimes people lose not only b/c of age but b/c of arthritis and other issues.

I think that an activity which produces something for someone in need could be very appealing. It engages a basic need to help others.

And I still believe that music is transcendent and is perhaps the best activity ever.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report

I don’t know if personality can change with dementia from extrovert to introvert but introverted people need lots of quiet time. And also, after my mom’s stroke she seems to have trouble on occasion articulating what she wants to say, so she gets quiet and either just listens to others talk or goes to her room for quiet time. Sometimes she speaks very clearly too so dementia is just mysterious in it’s symptoms.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to HolidayEnd
Report

I like both answers given. Try a little nudge but let her do what she wants.
Pick up the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.
It helps put things in perspective.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

Your mom may be content to be by herself AL near me the majority of residents stay to themselves 
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to shad250
Report

Maybe the activity around her is simply too stimulating for her mind.

I don't have dementia and when too much is going on around me, wow, I can feel, overwhelmed, anxious and aggrivated.

If she doesn't seem sad, I'd let her be. At least let her make this small choice for herself. So much has been taken away now mentally, physically, intellectually and emotionally that it may make you feel bad for her. Maybe it's only sad to us, she might be just fine alone.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Pepsee
Report

As my mother's dementia worsened, she only wanted to stay in her room. I tried for months to get staff at the ALF to take her to the some of the activities, exercises, and religious services. I spoke with 5 employees, some many times. She was taken to exercise once and prayer group once. She enjoyed both and was in good spirits. I had much more serious problems with this large facility, such as falling and many hospital emergencies. It is is very difficult to judge a facility on a tour and sales pitch. After much searching on my own, I found a small, secure, privately owned ALF that had an opening. The monthly cost is $1,000 less than the large ALF. The owners work there. It is a lovely home with only 12 residents. I visit often and each time I am updated on her health, attitude, activities, doctor and nurse visits and more. All the staff is closely involved with the residents. I wish I had known what I know now when it became necessary to move my mother to an ALF.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Doingitalone
Report

Tryingourbest, I feel when an elder is now living in Assisted Living and has been there for awhile, it is best to let them choose how they want to spend their day.

My Dad was in Assisted Living and was on the shy side, thus he refused if someone wanted him to join an activity unless it was music related. Dad's private caregiver [only mornings] tried to drag him to activities without much luck. Dad did enjoy sitting in the sun rooms and watching the outside world, and occasionally would chat with someone.

Dad was happy as a clam to sit in his recliner reading the daily newspaper and watching the 24 hour local cable news. But it was get out of his way when it was time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner where he had other gentlemen of his age to talk.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer
Report

If the assisted living has an activities director get in touch with him/her and ask them if they would make it a point to knock on your mom's door when there's an activity. And make sure your mom has a schedule of the activities that you can look at to encourage her to join in.

Is your mom new to assisted living? If so, maybe she just doesn't exactly know how to participate. No one likes being the new person. Maybe you can visit a few times when there are scheduled activities and you and your mom can join in. Your mom might feel less vulnerable if you're there and she can see that the activities are pleasant and that the people are nice. But I think with dementia, your mom might have to be led to the activities as opposed to keeping track of when and where they are and getting there on her own. This is where the activities people come in. I'd bet they'd be happy to encourage your mom to join them.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Eyerishlass
Report

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter